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Admitted to Chicago GSB and Kellogg PT programs [#permalink]
04 Aug 2006, 03:13
After 10 months, my quest to get into a top MBA program has come to an end - I have been accepted to both Chicago GSB (weekend) and Kellogg part-time programs.
First I would like to thank each and everyone in the gmatclub forum for contributing to my success - by answering my questions, by challenging my assumptions, by stimulating my thought process and above all by inspiring me to succeed. This forum is by far THE BEST thing that happened to me in the past 10 months. I hope I can give back to this forum all that I have gained in the past few months.
I would like to share my profile and lessons learnt during my application process, hoping it will help future applicants.
28 yrs old, Indian
5.5 yrs exp / Management Consulting
Masters from Virginia Tech (GPA 3.2)/ Bachelors from India (GPA 3.8)
Considerable leadership exp at work and school
Above average extra-curricular / community activities
GMAT 650 (v34,Q46)
Lesson 1: GMAT score is not everything I am sure many people have told this but I am repeating again - GMAT score is not everything. My score was little bit on the lower side for both Chicago and Kellogg (especially Kellogg). But I made a promise to myself that I would do really well in other parts of the application. A great score always helps, but does not ensure admission.
Lesson 2: Essays are the heart of the application I am not sure how many out there would agree with me, but I strongly feel essays are the heart of the application (kinda like a screenplay to a movie). They bring together everything and can explain everything from why you are the best candidate out there to why your GPA / GMAT score sucks? I put in hundreds of hours writing and rewriting every essay. Make sure your essays are specific to the school (for Chicago stress your analytical skills, for Kellogg stress your team work skills). Rule of thumb for the time committment - X hrs for school 1 essays, 0.4X - 0.5X hrs for every other school. Couple of pointers 1) make it unique (the beginning, the ending, the body, everything). Choose a set of themes that you want to collectively address in the 4-5 essays per school. Choose themes that address the perceived weaknesses of your job - for example as a Management consultant people think I am very analytical but not much of managerial exp or creativity. So I chose creativity as a theme. 2) have more than one person critique it 3) have someone who is admitted to the school you are applying critique it, they always provide a very different perspective.
Lesson 3: Recommendation letters DO matter One good thing I did was to give my recommenders a draft of my essays and my application strategy (skills I am trying to bring out). So my recommenders were able to lend credibility to my story. Another thing I found out was (although some schools might deny this) schools love recommendation letter from their alumni. It adds more value. So find out an alumni and begin networking. I was lucky to get a great set of recommenders who went above and beyond to help me out.
Lesson 4: Complete your essays before the interview The most important thing about the interviews - DO NOT interview until you have a fairly good draft of your essays because they ask the same question in the interviews. I get a feeling that in the interviews all they are trying to assess is how you potray yourself as a person / how likable you are as a stranger. I chose not to submit my applications until after the interview is over, primarily b'cos I wanted to make some final changes to essays based on the interview. This strategy did work out well for me.
Thats all from the top of my head. If I think of anything else, I will post it. Thanks again for all your help and please let me know how I could be of help.
I considered only three schools - Kellogg, Chicago and Stern. There are other PT programs in the northeast but nothing that caught my interest. I considered Smith but dropped it after I got into Chicago. I have numerous friends at Kellogg and Chicago and am attracted to the rigor and credibility of these programs. Most of the schools offer a cohort system, except Chicago.
Conratulations on getting admitted to PT programs. I am also considering PT at Chicago & NYU Stern. When you applied to them, which documents were required from the employer's side? I mean, besides recommendation letters is there any additional document required from the employer's end?
WWWhat !! Unbelievable ! (I mean, I believe what you said is true. But the fact that Chicago GSB or NYU Stern does not consider any other letters besides same standard application package for FT programs is ''unbelievable''. Thank you so much. Your response has taken off a great burden off my mind.
Does this also mean that I can apply to FT AND PT programs at Chicago GSB and NYU Stern using same essay questions?
A friend of mine got rejected from Tuck, but for him the admissions office called, explaining why they rejected ( his GMAT is 700, and for his profile - Indian, male, 30 something, engineering background, about 6 yrs experience, the average GMAT was at 760 at for his profile.. so he was below average for Tuck . They didn't find him stand out from the application pool from point of essays, GMAT, GPA).
Thanks for the suggestion on Tepper.
gmat - plan to take in oct 2007 ( expected score - 690 - 730 )
goal - career switch to investment banking
experience - 9 years , software dev, team lead, project management, hiring.